Student killed by mobs at school in Nigeria over allegations of blasphemy

A police statement said the girl, Deborah Yakubu, was trapped by fellow students and attacked on Thursday.

The accident occurred at the Shehu Shagari School in Sokoto, northwest Nigeria, and the school was immediately closed.

“The students forcibly removed the victim from the security room, where the school authorities hid her, killed her and burned the building,” police spokesman Sanusi Abu Bakr said in a statement issued to CNN.

Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambol has issued an order to close the school and directed the Ministry of Higher Education and security agencies to investigate the incident.

The video clip, which spread on social media following the killing, shows her attackers carrying a matchbox and celebrating after setting it on fire.

CNN was unable to independently verify the video.

Two people were arrested and “The suspects were spotted in the viral video on Twitter and will be named soon,” Abu Bakr added.

Religious tensions

Nigerians expressed their anger on Twitter and condemned the killing. TBelow are concerns it could escalate sectarian tensions in the country, which is largely divided along religious lines, with a Muslim majority in the north and predominantly Christian.

“Christian killers in Sokoto must be arrested and punished!” Farouk Karouji tweetedHe is a professor at Kennesaw State University.

“Unfortunately, this kind of fruitless killing of people in the name of ‘blasphemy’ revenge has been going on for a very long time in the north. This must stop!” He said. “The monsters in this video are easily recognizable. The Sokoto State Government should arrest them immediately and set an example for them. If not, this kind of murderous barbarism will continue.”

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Community leaders called for calm and urged authorities to punish the attackers.

“This has nothing to do with religion. Christians have lived in peace with their Muslim neighbors here in Sokoto over the years…the law must take its course,” Reverend Matthew Kokah of the Sokoto Diocese said in a statement.

Kola Al-Abini, a lawyer who has defended blasphemy defendants in Nigerian courts, said he was working on the appeal of another man who had been sentenced to death for blasphemy when he heard of Yakubu’s murder.

He told CNN that blasphemy does not exist under Nigeria’s constitutional laws, although some northern Muslim countries recognize it under Islamic law.

“The state government is hiding under a section of its Sharia law that punishes inflammatory or insulting statements of the Prophet Muhammad. They should be tested in the Court of Appeal or even in the Supreme Court.”

“The state’s primary function is the security of life and property. And here, it has failed. The Nigerian government’s seriousness in ending this danger will be measured by the state’s response in prosecuting those responsible for this murder.” Al-Abini added.

campaign season

The incident comes as the campaign season begins for next year’s presidential election – and the primaries are scheduled for later this month.

Atiku Abubakar, a presidential candidate from an opposition party, has come under fire for deleting social media posts condemning the killing after Muslim supporters pledged not to vote for him.

CNN has reached His spokesperson for comment.

& # 39;  They wronged me, & # 39;  Teenager says released after blasphemy sentence abolished in Nigeria

There have been previous incidents of mobs of people being attacked for defamation of religions in Nigeria. One of the most prominent cases She was during the 2002 Miss World contest, which was to be held in Nigeria, but moved after violent protests in which 100 people were killed.

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Riots erupted as ThisDay published an article about the contest that was considered an insult to Muslims. The article supported the contest against Muslim criticism, saying that if the Prophet Muhammad was alive, he would consider marrying one of the contestants.

The newspaper’s offices in Kaduna were burnt and churches and mosques were reported.

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